John came to Hollywood to get that one big break in life. Years have passed since and all he has to show for are a menial job, unpaid bills and airhead friends and he's getting sick of it all. Is there a way out of this downward spiral?
In Texas in the 1930s, young schoolteacher Novalyne Price meets a handsome, eccentric, interesting young man named Robert Howard. He's a successful writer - of the pulp stories of 'Conan ... See full summary »
Textile company heir Wayland is accused of murder of a prostitute named Elizabeth, whose body was found cut in two in the park. The murder is investigated by tough detective Kennesaw and ... See full summary »
Watty has made a living out of robbing convenience stores, but after one of these jobs turned into murder by his partner, the psychopath Billy Mack, he is on the run with his fiancé ... See full summary »
Two young girls start a band and open up a nightclub in town where the local kids can hang out and stay out of trouble, but they encounter opposition from local people who think rock is the... See full summary »
Mendel says Sonia's birthstone is the ruby, this would make her birthdate somewhere in July. See more »
Most of the action takes place between Sonya's birthday, which is in July, as evidenced by her birthstone, the ruby), and Yom Kippur, which is in the early fall. However, in all the outdoor scenes, it is clearly winter, as evidenced by the winter coats on all characters and extras. See more »
Intriguing Personal Drama Set in Orthodox/American Jewish Culture
A carefully and compellingly rendered drama of a contemporary woman's stirring discovery of self, "A Price Above Rubies" is set in the context of a Hasidic Jewish/American community. Beautifully photographed, this film's acting sparkles -- and renders a reasonably accurate portrait of an easily caricatured community.
In a role played well before her current celebrity (circa Jerry Maguire), Renee Zellweger establishes herself as a talent of unlimited possibilities. That she doesn't "look Jewish" (by the stereotype) does not make her less convincing....
The film's feminist perspective is gracefully realized without belittling all guys -- which greatly enhances the film's power! (And lowers my blood pressure!) While compelling in the early going, the plot becomes a bit overly complex. But the film remains very well worth watching throughout. Production design is exceptional! Those Orthodox Jewish critics who are angered by this film's portrayal of Jewish Orthodoxy might have us believe that the world of Orthodoxy is monolithically benign. It is not. ...
Traditional thought and practice -- orthodoxy in many settings -- has its beauties and strengths, and -- like most things human-- it has its dark, shadow side as well. I've personally experienced both the light and the dark, and know they both exist. "A Price Above Rubies" depicts the delicate balance gone awry.
For a very different, also wonderful film which depicts both light and shadow sides of American Jewish traditionalism, but less critical of Orthodoxy, try "The Chosen" (1982) (adapted from Chaim Potok's book), with Robby Benson (quite good in this film, to my surprise), Rod Steiger and Maximillian Schell. For me "The Chosen" is a "ten", and among my all-time top 10 films!
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